Due Diligence, Legal Opinions and the Inclusive Opinion Report
Probate and Property, September/October 2000, Volume 14, Number 5
Edward J. Levin
Edward J. Levin is a member of Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, and is a member of the Real Property Division's Legal Opinions in Real Estate Transactions (B-4) Committee.
The substance of a third-party legal opinion letter dictates the extent of the due diligence that counsel must perform. It is important that counsel have a basis for each statement in an opinion letter and know all of the components of the opinions contained in an opinion letter. In some cases, counsel will be able to assume certain facts, such as good standing in a given state. Often, a number of facts on which the opinion giver relies are statements and representations of the borrower. No due diligence will be required to support those assumptions or to rely on such certificates unless the opinion giver has actual knowledge of facts that would make the reliance unreasonable.